ARVADA — Green Mountain senior Grahm Tuohy-Gaydos and Evergreen senior Sarah Allen have made the most of their opportunities so far this cross country season.
Tuohy-Gaydos and Allen claimed the individual titles at the Class 4A Jeffco League Cross Country Championships held Thursday at Standley Lake Basketball Barn in Arvada.
“The course is deceitful,” Allen said after her time of 19 minutes, 35 seconds which was 15 seconds faster than Golden sophomore Lily Mourer who finished second. “You’ll think you’ll be going pretty fast because it is pretty flat, but with all the grass and uneven texture it’s pretty slow and hard.”
It has been a tough prep career for Allen. She didn’t make varsity her freshman year and then came down with bronchitis her sophomore year. Last year, she suffered stress fractures that prevented her from running for a second straight season.
“This is the first time of making it to this point,” Allen said, who has won all seven cross country races she has entered this season. “I’m really proud of it. Running is my favorite thing. Getting to this point feels so rewarding.”
Allen was able to pull away from Mourer and Standley Lake senior Sophia Abernethey — both returning first-time all-conference runners — to keep momentum heading into regionals next week.
“I really want to keep up with the faster girls,” Allen said of moving into regionals for the Cougars on Oct. 8 in Gypsum. “The girls at regionals are really good.”
Golden’s girls just edged D’Evelyn by two points to win the team title. Mourer and junior Meredith Overton finished in the Top-5 to pace the Demons.
On the boys side, Tuohy-Gaydos continued his extremely successful prep running career at Green Mountain. He will go down as one of the most decorated boys runners in 4A Jeffco history. He finished Top-10 at the league championships as a freshman before winning three straight individual conference titles.
“It’s really rare and I’m really lucky to be able to do that,” Tuohy-Gaydos said of his three-peat.
Tuohy-Gaydos has won every race he has entered this Fall and continued his streak on Thursday. However, the senior is more focused on the team goals for the Rams.
“Really when it comes to these races it’s not really about getting a time. It’s about helping the team,” Tuohy-Gaydos said after his time of 15:59.7 claimed the 4A Jeffco boys individual championship. “My time was sub-16 which on a course like this with a lot of surface changes and hills, I’m pretty happy with it.”
Green Mountain was just edged out by Conifer for the team title. The Lobos were paced by seniors Zack Gacnik, Topi Alahuhta and junior Isaac Vanwestrienen. The Conifer trio all placed in the Top-5 to give the Lobos 38 team points. Green Mountain finished with 42.
“Our team goal this year is to qualify for state,” Grahm Tuohy-Gaydos said. “For me, my individual goals are all intertwined with that. Whatever I can do to help my team qualify for state and win races is my goal.”
The Jeffco League Cross Country Championships did look different with 4A teams competing Thursday and 5A teams running the same course coming up Friday afternoon. Normally both 5A and 4A run on the same day, but due to COVID guidelines the championships had to be split into two days.
Tuohy-Gaydos is extremely grateful of the cross country season during the current pandemic.
“I’m really appreciate CHSAA for one, allowing us to race. That is first and foremost,” Tuohy-Gaydos said. “I didn’t know if I was going to be able to run this year as a senior. It makes me feel happy that people are following mask rules. I’m somebody who has family members that are high risk. I appreciate for what everyone is doing.”